A petition calling for the introduction of a directly-elected mayor in Guildford has been rejected as invalid.
A notice issued this week by the Proper Officer, Satish Mistry, said that to be valid such a petition must have 5,012 signatures – being 5% of the local government electors for the council's area and known as the Verification Number – which comply with the formality and validity requirements of the Local Authorities (Referendums) (Petitions) (England) Regulations 2011.
The notice said there were only 3,570 such signatures and the petition – which was submitted on 18 May – was therefore invalid pursuant to Regulation 9(1) (a).
“However, as the Petition is invalid only because it does not comply with Regulation 9(1) (a), it may be amalgamated with any subsequent petitions seeking the same constitutional change, which are submitted to the council,” it added.
Valid names on the original petition will remain so for 12 months from the date of signing.
The council revealed that a number of signatures were disregarded as they did not meet certain criteria, “this can include those that failed to complete all the details needed, such as first name, surname and address details or where a signature was unreadable”.